Dos & Don’ts of Parenting an Auditioning Child

This is it. You’ve been running lines with your child to prepare for this audition. Your young performer is now headed into the casting room, nervous, excited, and ready. All you can do now is wait until your son or daughter emerges from the casting room. But then what? 

Do Smile
Your child is going to take his lead from you. If you’re tense and it shows, guess how he’s going to feel. Don’t plaster on a phony, cheesy grin; he will sense the inauthenticity. Your child worked hard to get to this point. Regardless of the outcome, getting in and out of that casting call is an accomplishment. Offer a genuine smile that conveys you’re proud of him for the hard work that went into preparing and the confidence it took to get in there and give it his best. 

Don’t Ask. 
Naturally, you’re eager to hear how things went, but the waiting room isn’t the time to ask. Give your child time to digest the audition at her own pace. If she wants to volunteer information when she first sees you, that’s great. Otherwise, hold your questions until you’re out of the building. When you do ask, focus on how your child is feeling. A simple “How’d it go?” or “How do you feel about the audition?” will suffice. Don’t fire off a list of questions designed to reconstruct the audition for you. 

Do Switch Gears
When the audition is over, go out for ice cream. Hit the trampoline park. Do something completely unrelated to the business. Take the focus off the process and back on to being just a kid. You should always encourage your child to pursue passions outside of show business. Not every audition is going to result in a new role. In fact, most actors hear “no” more than “yes.” Feeling disappointed over a no is normal, but a child who sees his career as just one facet of his life is apt to take that disappointment in stride. The child whose focus is solely or primarily on the biz may not. 

Do Focus on the Fun
Acting, even professionally, should be fun for a child. It should be something she opts to do. Before you even get started in this world, honestly evaluate your child’s talent and desire. Make sure this is something she wants more than you do. Every now and then take stock of where your child’s heart is. If the process is becoming more like a chore than a pleasurable hobby, it might be time to call it quits. 

Don’t Listen to Waiting Room Gossip
It’s easy to get pulled in to the chatter in the waiting room. Someone “who knows someone” talks as if she has the inside scoop. Another someone who has been down this route before offers – in a decidedly factual tone – his insights over who will and won’t land a part. Before you get caught up, remember this: it’s just waiting room gossip. Don’t accept what you hear hook, line and sinker. 

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